Travel Blogging Challenge: Week 2

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.”

-Danny Kaye

If you didn’t read my post last week, I’m participating in the 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge by Winta from Wandering Outside the Box. Julie (who just nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award-thank you, my dear) and Vikki are also contributing to this along with many others so follow them to read their travel stories!


Week 2: Little known travel tips

Inform your credit card companies of what dates you will be out of town and where you will be going. This allows you to use that fancy piece of plastic abroad without fear of being declined and reported for fraud. Also, you can withdraw money at the ATMs whenever you need it.

Wear what the locals wear. Fanny packs? You might as well write ‘American’ on your forehead in red lipstick. This makes you a target for theft because everyone will know you’re a tourist. (Sometimes you can’t help it because simply the way you look makes it clear you’re not a native, but do your best anyway.)

Drink a ton of water. Dehydration is a top reason why travelers get sick on vacation. Think about it-you’re in a new place doing new things every day and your routine is completely thrown out of wack. That ‘5 bottles of water a day’ mentality has to stay in tact even when you’re not sitting at your desk in the office.

If you’re listening to music for any reason in public, always keep one earbud out. Hiking a mountain without any sense of what’s around you except for what you can see is very dangerous. No matter what your mom told you as a child, no one has eyes in the back of their head. You could be missing sirens or a possible thief coming up behind you.

Buy a postcard from each place you visit. They’re usually less than a dollar and make for very inexpensive souvenirs. I put mine in a scrapbook, where I also place all the other photos from the trip. It’ll be cool to look through all your scrapbooks in ten years and see all the places you’ve been.

Do your best to disconnect. iPad? Leave it in the safe in the hotel. Laptop? Leave it in the safe with the iPad. I do recommend bringing your phone everywhere and keeping it on in the case of an emergency, but other than that leave it in your bag. In a world where technology is taking over, we’re becoming addicted to these things (I say as I type on my MacBook). For real though, enjoy your surroundings and take everything in. You can go back to texting when you get home.

Support local business. For a lot of places, tourists are their main income. Contribute to keeping these businesses afloat so they’re still standing when future travelers pass through, and they will be able to enjoy the stores like you did and pay it forward. Also, souvenirs are usually half the price at these local stands/shops than they are at a chain.

Keep extra copies of all your travel documents. Your passport, ID, boarding passes, train tickets, itinerary, any confirmations you have from booking-this includes hotels, car rentals, tours, etc. You never know when you’ll need them. Keep them in the safe with your iPad and laptop once you arrive at your destination.

Always, always, always give someone from home your itinerary. This includes exact addresses of wherever you’re staying, exactly what you’ll be doing, times of what you’re doing and where you’ll be if you’ve planned that far ahead, flight numbers, pictures of all the travel documents in that holy safe in your hotel, etc. Keep that person informed the best you can all the way through your trip. It’s helpful to even have more than one of those people, if possible. This is the most important tip. In the case you should go missing or something took a wrong turn, that contact should be able to give emergency personnel as much detail as possible to keep you safe.

I feel like this post turned a little scary, but I didn’t mean for it to! The #1 rule to traveling is always to be safe. I think everything else works itself out and falls into place.

Check out Week 1 of my Travel Blogging Challenge if you haven’t already, and I’d love to hear other tips from my followers that I haven’t thought of and that you would add to this post!

-Aly

10 thoughts on “Travel Blogging Challenge: Week 2

  1. I love collecting postcards from my travels – I amass rather a lot of them, rather quickly as I inevitably end up buying more than one when I can’t decide between two (or three) that I like. RE: fanny packs, one thing that has never failed to amuse me during my time spent living in France is the number of French men who carry a little “manbag” around with them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had that problem at first, too, until I started making myself close my eyes and pick one. But I don’t see anything wrong with having multiple!
      You’ve lived in France? That’s amazing; I’d love to have that experience someday. I’m actually posting about some of my time in Paris tomorrow, and fond memories are rushing back. Thank you for your comment, Rosie. I look forward to reading your posts!

      -Aly

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s definitely one way of keeping the impulse to buy more and more postcards in check! I actually spent my third year abroad in Colmar (as an English Language Assistant), then moved to Lyon (to teach English in a university) after finishing my degree. Two different places, two different experiences – though my heart still remains in Alsace! I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for your post πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m actually looking into teaching English to students in Asia right now, and I’m sure that’s not the same thing you did, but I’ve gathered that I need a degree before I can make any real money doing it. I’m going into my senior year, so time will tell! But that is really cool; I’m glad you have those memories.

        -Aly

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I did the British equivalent of TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Programme in France, for Americans) for my year abroad – I gather that for Americans, an undergraduate degree is a pre-requisite (while for Brits, it’s often done during our degree), but I’m sure there are other exchange programmes with different countries too. With EFL, I think the concept of “real money” is a tough one – I didn’t get paid a lot either time, but by managing my money well, I’ve managed to save a fair amount as well as have fun while I’ve been abroad. Always worth looking into opportunities and seeing what’s around in any case πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes I agree. I will definitely look into that once I have a degree because I would love the opportunity to live in France, even if only for a little bit. I loved the environment there. Given, I was in touristy areas, but I’m sure I’d love it nonetheless. Thanks for your advice Rosie!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great advice! I definitely agree with drinking water, we do so much walking when we travel. Also I collect postcards of places we go. If I have time, i like to write and send it to friends or myself because I love stamps and foreign postmarks.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s